Saranya Subramanian – ‘Article 370 Has Been Abrogated’, ‘riyaz’

Article 370 Has Been Abrogated


When Gausia stares at the barbed wires that

spring from the earth, from revolutions dead and

buried six feet under, she wonders not

why they straitjacket her so. Instead, she

wonders if they are industrial meshes padded

with filter aids, at what temperature they turn

into superconductors, or if they can be plucked

and experimented upon at the University

which she sees in diamond-shaped pieces

through the wires that zig and zag. She wonders

how the wires withstand the temperamental weather

of political debates and the storms they bring,

how the thunderous claps of gunshots

and pellets, pouring stones and tears

don’t sway the wires in the least. Her parched

fingers ache to drink some sunshine,

to reach out and feel the curves and contours

of the fence that keeps her indoors. For while

the men in suits may study the wires through

the Constitution and Savarkar, the Preamble

and Ambedkar, Gausia continues to study

the fence through her laminated

PhD in Chemical Engineering degree.






wake up to stale air

thick as sponge in your mouth.

clean it out.

pluck out the pieces of yesterday

stuck in your skin, one by one,

and then begin.

begin combing through the years

to find the one you’re looking for.

it will stand out

like a smug strand of white hair floats

in a sea of young, black locks.

find that moment again

when Akka walked to you,

wearing a smile

that matched the bottom half

of the earth—curved and steady.

her words “it’s okay”

rolled out like a soft towel

and wiped your tears.

and suddenly,

you could walk on

and not lose yourself in the crowd.

take that moment out

with two fingers, place it

in the bowl of skin

between your eyebrows

like a bindi


be ready to step out

and stare today

right in the face.

Saranya Subramanian is a 22-year-old literature aficionado based in Bombay. She spends her time singing to herself and watching Madhubala videos (sigh!). And she writes because, well, it’s all that she can really do.